How Can I Prevent Kidney Disease?
The key to prevention or delay of severe kidney failure is early detection and aggressive intervention — while there’s still time to try to slow down the disease. Medical care with early intervention can slow the development and progression of chronic kidney disease.
Diabetes and hypertension are the two most common causes of kidney failure — and both are conditions you can help control. By aggressively managing diabetes and hypertension with diet, exercise, and medications, you may be able to prevent kidney failure and help keep as much kidney function as possible.
Since diabetes and high blood pressure put you at risk of kidney disease, know where you stand with these risks. Do you have diabetes or hypertension? Is your diabetes or hypertension under control? If you can, find out about your family’s medical history, as well, so you’ll know if diabetes, hypertension, and kidney disease run in your family.
Get Tested Regularly
Test every year at your doctor:
If you have diabetes, work with your doctor to keep your blood sugar levels under the best possible control. A program of diet, regular exercise, glucose monitoring, and medications to control blood sugars and protect kidney function can help.
If you have hypertension, work with your doctor to get your blood pressure as close as possible within normal ranges. Again, a program of diet, regular exercise, and medications can help.
Consider Seeing a Nephrologist
If you’ve already lost some kidney function, or your doctor tells you that you’re likely to have more kidney damage in the future, ask about a referral to a nephrologist (a kidney disease specialist). A nephrologist can provide specialized testing, evaluate your condition, and talk with you about possible ways to slow down the progress of kidney disease.
Points to Remember